Overcoming A Sensitive Gag Reflex

August 28, 2013

Filed under: Blog — puredental @ 12:13 pm

DO YOU SUFFER FROM A SENSITIVE GAG REFLEX? If so, receiving any kind of dental treatment may be frustrating for you. Whether the reasons for your gagging are physiological, psychological, or both… we can help. We want to be sure nothing gets in the way of caring for your healthy smile.

A Few Tips On Handling A Sensitive Gag Reflex

  • As is always the case—visit with us! We always want our valued patients to express any concerns or fears. A sensitive gag reflex is actually quite common, so don’t be embarrassed! We can work with you to better ensure your comfort in handling this concern.
  • BREATHE! Yes, part of it may be that simple. Focusing on your breathing can not only help physically, but it may also focus your mind away from dentistry. Try taking deep breaths through your nose. Sometimes a nasal decongestant helps make it easier.
  • Listening to music can help you relax and redirect your focus.
  • Some studies indicate that gagging may be worse in the morning, so consider scheduling an afternoon visit.
  • Sitting up straighter seems to help some people. Let’s experiment with your position in the chair to see if that helps.
  • One study shows that folding your left thumb into the palm of your hand, then making a fist and squeezing your left thumb helps some people with their gag reflex. Try it!

Some Interesting Information About Gag Reflex

Your Complete Comfort Is Our High Priority

Determining what causes a sensitive gag reflex can be difficult. Whatever the cause, it’s important to remember that we can help. Talk with us!  If you’ve had this problem in the past and have found things that help, please share them with us! We’re always anxious to learn from the experiences of our patients. Write your answer in the comments below, or on our Facebook page!

Thank you for trusting us with your oral care! We appreciate you.

Good Morning, Sunshine! How’s Your Breath?

August 21, 2013

Filed under: Blog — puredental @ 1:18 pm

NO NEED TO BE EMBARRASSED! We all experience morning breath from time to time. Typically, our morning brushing routines get rid of it. But people wonder where morning breath comes from—and people wonder what to do if it continues throughout the day.

Morning Breath Is Primarily Caused By Dry Mouth

While general bad breath can have a variety of causes (diet, oral hygiene habits, even some systemic diseases), morning breath most often stems from dry mouth.
While you’re sleeping, saliva production slows. Your body does that to help you sleep—otherwise you’d be having to swallow all the time. Saliva is vital to your oral health because it rinses away food particles, makes your mouth less acidic, and helps keep mouth bacteria in check.
So when saliva stops doing its thing during sleep, the bacteria goes wild! This creates a massive amount of sulphur gas buildup that stinks! Gross, right? That’s another reason why it’s important to brush our teeth before bed—it helps at least start out our sleep period with minimal sugars and bacteria in our mouths.

More Interesting & Relevant Info About Bad Breath

Tips For Combatting Morning Breath

1. ALWAYS brush your teeth (and tongue) before going to sleep.
2. Drink some water before you go to bed, and right after you wake up.
3. Clear your sinuses. Breathing through the nose helps some people not dry out so much.

But What If Morning Breath Lasts Beyond The Morning?

If you have chronic bad breath, ask yourself if you’re up-to-date with your regular dental check-ups. Sometimes a good cleaning can help. But even more important, bad breath can actually be a symptom of more severe problems like gum disease or tooth decay, which is something we’ll definitely want to consider.

Questions? Just Ask!

We know that it can be an awkward conversation, but if you’re worried about bad breath, let us know. Our goal is always to help you in every way we can!

Thanks for being our valued patient. We appreciate you!

The Evolution Of Your Toothbrush

August 14, 2013

Filed under: Blog — puredental @ 10:45 am

WHERE WOULD WE BE without our toothbrushes?! Today personal dental hygiene is easy with convenient tools like toothbrushes and floss. But have you ever wondered what people did before modern toothbrushes?

Twigs & Branches

The earliest toothbrushes were actually “chewing sticks”. That may sound rudimentary, but they were surprisingly effective. In ancient Babylon people chewed on twigs until they became shredded and fibrous. That created a “brush” that they’d use to clean their teeth. Depending on the plant used, additional antiseptic properties or naturally occurring fluoride may have even been found in those twigs.
Many cultures still use Miswak chewing sticks (made from a twig of the Salvadora persica tree) for oral hygiene.

Chinese Boar Bristle Brushes

Around the 15th century the Chinese invented one of the earliest toothbrushes, made from boar bristles pasted onto handles of bamboo or bone. These brushes worked just like modern toothbrushes do, although they were a little more harsh on one’s teeth (and a little less sanitary).

European Sponges & Cloths

Most Medieval Europeans didn’t bother with oral hygiene. However, the meticulous few would clean their teeth using a sponge or cloth dipped into a solution made of oils and salts. It was probably better than nothing!

Toothbrushes Today

Modern materials like nylon bristles and plastic handles have made toothbrushes inexpensive and accessible to nearly everyone. And now, we see all kinds of toothbrushes, from smart ones that tell you where to brush, to singing ones that make oral hygiene fun for kids.

Does The Brand Of Your Toothbrush Matter?

Many patients ask what kind of toothbrush is best. Typically it’s best to use one with soft bristles, but the kind of toothbrush you use doesn’t matter as much as the fact that you use it for two minutes, twice a day.
So how do YOU feel about your toothbrush? If your own modern toothbrush wasn’t around, which of these ancient methods would you try?
Let us know in the comments section below. And remember, if you ever have any questions about your oral health, ask us!

Thanks for being our valued patient!

Munching On Apples And Carrots At Your 100th Birthday Party

August 7, 2013

Filed under: Blog — puredental @ 10:54 am

A COUPLE OF CENTURIES AGO it was very unusual for people to have their original teeth in their mouth on their 40th birthday! And as little as 50 years ago, half of the people you walked by over the age of 65 had already lost nearly all of their teeth. Today, that number has been drastically reduced.

We’re All Part Of An Amazing Trend

Despite all of the modern threats to our smiles that we often hear about (including rampant sugar use, popularized acidic beverages, etc.) overall oral health continues to improve. In most countries, at every age, we’re keeping more of our teeth than we were 20 years ago in 1994:

Modern Dentistry Is Focused On Preventive Care And Keeping Teeth

Back in the olden days when preventive care was rare, the result was a lot of toothaches. Often, the default solution for a toothache was to just pull the tooth. Today’s materials and treatment advances have made that default solution rare—especially when patients maintain regular checkups.
The gum health in a 60-year-old today is about the same as it was in a 40-year-old back in 1973. One of the contributing factors is likely the rise of regular flossing! Dental floss was patented in the late 19th century, but it has taken a long time for regular flossing to become mainstream.

What To Expect As Your Teeth Age

Our teeth change as we age. Some of these changes can make optimal oral health more difficult. You may experience:

  • Extreme Yellowing – As the white enamel layer wears down, the yellow dentin underneath becomes more visible.
  • Increased Gum Disease Risk – Our ability to naturally fight infections—like gingivitis—decreases.
  • Dry mouth – Often a side-effect of taking more medications.

Remember, we can help you with these challenges!

What NOT To Expect

  • Losing Your Teeth! Isn’t it great to know that together we may make dentures (like your grandma’s) a thing of the past?

Although oral health risks increase with age, we know how to combat them! And with good habits, your natural teeth can be around as long as you are. No denture adhesives, no living off soup everyday. So let’s put in the little bit of work now. Make sure that you brush and floss every day—and maintain cleanings and check-ups.

Now For A Fun, Retro Throwback…

This needs no explanation:

Thank you for the trust you place in us. We appreciate you.

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